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I want this house...talk me out of it? Very, very long & crazy...


Julie in CA
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I know it's not probably practical. I know it's likely to be a money pit. I know I'm nuts to even be considering it.

 

STILL...

 

I want this house:

 

http://www.zillow.co...124153453_zpid/

 

The description isn't really accurate. I think the house is probably older than what the records show.

It's currently divided into 5 apartments. All of them have been continuously rented with no vacancies for as long as I can remember.

Two of the apartments rent for $450 per month, a third is $475 per month, and the other two are $350 per month. They each have metered electricity.

 

The owner inherited the house a couple of years ago, but lives out of state and hasn't been very realistic about the asking price (as listed). The real estate agent contacted me this week to let me know that the owner is looking for a sale now, and will take $175,000. According to my calculations, the monthly payment would be around $630 per month if I put down 20% (which I could probably scrape up from a variety of sources), with another appx. $250 that would need to be set aside to cover property taxes, etc., so...$900 out per month. I would need to probably pay for water & trash also.

 

I'm facing the fact that I will probably need a place to live, and even if I used one of the units myself, I would, in theory, still be bringing in appx. $1,250 monthly from the remaining four rental units, probably more once they were fixed up. I would take the amount I'd be paying in rent if I were living somewhere else, probably a minimum of $550 per month, and use it for maintenance/repair.

 

The house still has much of the original mahogany woodwork, has a cellar with usable storage space and access from outside and from inside one of the apartments. There's a lot of parking, and there is both the inside main staircase, and outside staircase access to all 3 of the upstairs units.

 

There's a LOT of cleaning, painting, and shoveling out of trash that would need to happen, and because of the state of the apartments, I'd need to ask many or all of the current tenants to leave, one by one, so that I could clean out & repaint, & fix up the apartments one at a time. I think it wouldn't be difficult to find better tenants once the units were finished. There is another apartment building in our town that is always full of young marrieds from local churches, and I think I could get tenants of that type, probably mostly people I already know personally.

 

The town is small, and though the house is much larger than others in the neighborhood, it's a nice neighborhood with smaller houses built in the same era. It's two blocks from the library, it's three blocks from the grocery store, and it's on a nice-sized corner lot.

 

The roof looks good. Some of the panes in the windows have been replaced, but the original leaded window panels appear to be intact. The plumbing was put in around 1960 when the apartments were put in, but appears to be functional. I'm not sure about the wiring. It might be a problem, and I know the siding is what was popular in our area during a particular era--asbestos. We've lived in a house with asbestos siding before, and it was just fine as long as it's in reasonably good shape and kept painted. This house would need painting sometime soon, but there doesn't appear to be flaking paint anywhere, just fading.

 

When I was walking through the house, I didn't see outward signs of structural problems. Floors were pretty much level and stable, I didn't see any cracking plaster that would indicate a settling/uneven foundation, and I didn't see much that would imply current water damage. Eaves are straight & level, porches are stable & level.

 

How would I go about getting someone to go through the house and tell me just how bad it is? An inspector? A structural engineer? It's a big house, with a lot of possible (probable!) huge problems.

 

If it's totally insane, tell me kindly, ok? I think it probably is insane, and I'm not sure if I'm thinking anything like clearly. {sigh}

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Pretty house! If it passes inspection, and you can make the numbers work, I say go for it.

 

I'm not sure I understood the part where you said "I'd need to ask many or all of the current tenants to leave, one by one, so that I could clean out & repaint, & fix up the apartments one at a time. I think it wouldn't be difficult to find better tenants once the units were finished." Ask them to leave temporarily, or leave for good? If they're paying their rent and they're good tenants, I'd wait to fix up the units until the tenants moved out on their own.

 

ETA: I just looked at the comps for the area (what other homes around this property sold for recently) and they're significantly lower. This property is basically the most expensive property in the area by quite a bit. So....on second glance, I think the price of this property would have to come down significantly in order to make it a good investment for you.

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It was probably divided into apartments in 1947.

 

Have an inspector - but also get a structural engineer in case you ever want to be ripping out walls to turn it back into a house - even if you keep an apartment or two.

 

I pulled out the view, and honestly - is that *really* a neighborhood you'd want to be in? what are the surrounding homes like? more apartments? I looked at the ratings of the schools - they are pretty low. If you want to sell - families with children won't look at it. families with children are likely to not even consider that neighborhood - unless it's all they can afford. I would look elsehwere.

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I'm not sure I understood the part where you said "I'd need to ask many or all of the current tenants to leave, one by one, so that I could clean out & repaint, & fix up the apartments one at a time. I think it wouldn't be difficult to find better tenants once the units were finished." Ask them to leave temporarily, or leave for good? If they're paying their rent and they're good tenants, I'd wait to fix up the units until the tenants moved out on their own.

 

Leave for good. Four out of the five tenants pay regularly, and one is a slow pay. The problem is that pretty much all of the apartments are *stacked* with trash & garbage. There were even discarded items in the halls. I expected, looked for, but did not find, any evidence of rodent or insect infestation. Still, I don't think I'd be able to keep tenants who were used to hoarding garbage.

 

There is also currently a shortage of rental properties in our area, and it would not be difficult to find more desirable tenants.

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You and I are long lost sisters.

 

I would love a house. I would wax eloquent about its bones, how wonderful....

 

Dh would go see it and say, "The more it's falling down, the more you love it..."

 

So, I can TOTALLY see why you would love that house, it's flipping adorable.

 

At that price? In your situation? I would JUMP at it.

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My concerns would be that you need a budget that can handle a few months of vacancy as you transition tenants out, fix up apartments, and get new tenants. So make sure you are not on too tight of a budget,

 

I also would think about my kids. Where will they stay if they live with you? Where will they stay when they visit? If you have a one bedroom apartment, you probably won't have married kids come stay so you, pretty, much ever. I think about this because I want to down size when my kids go to college, but I also want them to love coming to visit spend I want them to be comfy when they do so.

 

I do think the propery looks great and that you have a good idea of how to manage to make a new life for yourself. It is inspiring.

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I would certainly consider it if the engineering and pest control reports came back positive. Then, I would probably take a handyman class so I could learn to take care of all the piddly things (leaking faucets and toilets) that come with landlording.

 

Even if it's not this exact house, I think the income property idea is a great one for you!

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It's a lovely house! I think I'd take whatever estimate you come up with for repairs/maintenance and up it by at least 50%--these things always seem to end up costing more than we think. How handy are you? Would you need to hire someone to help you manage/refurbish the apartments, or is it something you could handle on your own? I'd definitely pay to get someone reputable to give you an honest report on the house's condition, needed repairs, etc.

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One other thing to keep in mind, if you're planning on living in one of the units yourself, is that the noise in places like this can be insane, depending on the layout. Most of the big old Victorian houses that have been converted into multiple units have next to nothing for soundproofing, and your neighbors can hear you pee (seriously). Also, the ventilation systems aren't usually designed to be separate, so if you have one unit that has a smoker, the smoke gets in all the units. So if you'll have to live here yourself, you might want to budget in the cost of soundproofing at least your own unit.

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I also would think about my kids. Where will they stay if they live with you? Where will they stay when they visit? If you have a one bedroom apartment, you probably won't have married kids come stay so you, pretty, much ever. I think about this because I want to down size when my kids go to college, but I also want them to love coming to visit spend I want them to be comfy when they do so.

I would take the 2 bedroom apartment that also has a really large living room and interior access to the cellar storage area. The apartment itself is roughly 900 square feet, I think. Sadly, my boys will not be moving with me, so only my girls. They are used to sharing a room, and I would give them the larger bedroom to share, and take the smaller one for myself. That, plus a large sleeper sofa in the living room, should be fine with regard to kids/guests, I think.

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Just had another thought.

 

Based on your latest posts, I'm not sure where things stand with your DH. But in the event of a divorce, what do CA laws say about property purchased during the marriage? In some states, any property acquired during the marriage becomes marital property for the purposes of divorce settlements - even if you buy the property in your name only. If divorce is a possibility, I would research CA law to clearly understand what rights your DH would have to this property if you were to buy it before the divorce goes through.

 

If you buy the property and put a ton of work into it, only to have to come to some settlement on it with your DH (and "buy out" his share as determined by a divorce court judge), it may not be worth it.

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Just had another thought.

 

Based on your latest posts, I'm not sure where things stand with your DH. But in the event of a divorce, what do CA laws say about property purchased during the marriage? In some states, any property acquired during the marriage becomes marital property for the purposes of divorce settlements - even if you buy the property in your name only. If divorce is a possibility, I would research CA law to clearly understand what rights your DH would have to this property if you were to buy it before the divorce goes through.

 

If you buy the property and put a ton of work into it, only to have to come to some settlement on it with your DH (and "buy out" his share as determined by a divorce court judge), it may not be worth it.

Yes, I'd considered that, and also the impending bankruptcy of our farm. My mom is willing and able to buy the house and I would then buy it from her after all is said & done with marriage and business uncertainties.

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Just had another thought.

 

Based on your latest posts, I'm not sure where things stand with your DH. But in the event of a divorce, what do CA laws say about property purchased during the marriage? In some states, any property acquired during the marriage becomes marital property for the purposes of divorce settlements - even if you buy the property in your name only. If divorce is a possibility, I would research CA law to clearly understand what rights your DH would have to this property if you were to buy it before the divorce goes through.

 

If you buy the property and put a ton of work into it, only to have to come to some settlement on it with your DH (and "buy out" his share as determined by a divorce court judge), it may not be worth it.

 

 

CA is a community property state so 50/50 unless he says he doesn't want it.

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I am TOTALLY an old house person. And that's a great looking house! It would probably cost 3X+ that amount here if it was in semi-decent condition. Our home was built in 1915 and had all sorts of delightful "issues" when we moved in. We've been here about 10 years and are slowly making our way through fixing it up.

 

A couple thoughts - definitely use an inspector, and maybe even a couple. Be aware of what they say, but also expect the unexpected. Our inspector said our furnace should hold 5-10 more years. We were replacing the same winter (within 6 months) at a tune of 10K+. And make sure you really want to be a land lord. In a house like that, it could well be a full time job depending. When we fix stuff in our house, it's always a surprise. There are 6 layers of flooring under our kitchen floor. There is wallpaper under paint. We just gutted and remodeled 2 bathrooms. I could go on and on about that project! Had to replace plumbing basement to 2nd floor.

 

Anyway, I would just be researching and making sure you have the time, energy, and monetary resources to get into something like that. Like I would say having a 15K emergency budget would be really good planning if it looked reasonably solid and you didn't think you'd have to do anything immediately. We also painted the exterior of our single family and it was 4-5K for a 2 level. Just trying to throw out some numbers we've come across. Good luck with whatever you decide! If you do it - it will be an adventure! :001_smile:

 

:grouphug:

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I would advise you to research very, very carefully into the CA landlord laws, which heavily favor tenants. It is really hard to get rid of a tenant who doesn't want to go. And from what I've heard from friends who have been landlords, it can turn into a huge pain in the neck. People can be horrible and will sometimes tear an apartment apart as they leave.

 

It's a beautiful house in a nice area. I can understand your temptation! But it could very easily be a money sink and a horror show, so be careful.

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Yes, I'd considered that, and also the impending bankruptcy of our farm. My mom is willing and able to buy the house and I would then buy it from her after all is said & done with marriage and business uncertainties.

 

If it passes inspection, and I had a Mom Force behind me, I'd do it in a moment.

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I would advise you to research very, very carefully into the CA landlord laws, which heavily favor tenants. It is really hard to get rid of a tenant who doesn't want to go. And from what I've heard from friends who have been landlords, it can turn into a huge pain in the neck. People can be horrible and will sometimes tear an apartment apart as they leave.

 

It's a beautiful house in a nice area. I can understand your temptation! But it could very easily be a money sink and a horror show, so be careful.

Yup. I'm very worried about all of that. At the same time, I will probably need somewhere to live, and rental units are hard to come by in town here.

I just know it's gonna be a money pit.

I heard that it had tentative approval as a bed & breakfast at one time, and I definitely have the skills necessary to operate one, but Orland, CA isn't exactly a hot tourist destination either.

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Am I absolutely nuts or did you link this house last year sometime? I swear I've seen it before.

 

I don't know. I couldn't live in a rental with my tenants around. I like privacy and I'd feel like I'm always at work.

 

Are you at a point where you just need to throw yourself into something big and move on? Because that sounds like a project.

 

The difference between owning that and opening a storefront would be vastly different.

 

I'd weigh the pros and cons and even as a shorter term (ie 5-10 year) investment as a place to land while you are in a new stage of life. I sense you are ready for the change, but is this what you really want or does it just sound attractive from the outside. Even cosmetic repairs can become bigger projects.

 

I'd want a good business partner or someone to help out. I'd want a stash of people to help, like a good lawyer, a good contractor, and a good handyman.

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Am I absolutely nuts or did you link this house last year sometime? I swear I've seen it before.

 

Yep. Still for sale, because the asking price was ridiculous and the current owner received the house in an inheritance, lives in another state, and wasn't in any hurry to sell.

The price has now been reduced from $250,000 to $175,000.

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I think you are adventureous, awesome and jaw droppingly brave. I would jump on that house in a hot minute if I had a handyperson in my life or was handy myself. That being said, get an inspection and be sure you are correct then move forward. Your girls are blessed to have a very good role model. Roll up the sleeves and on we go. I tip my hat to you Julie and say Godspeed and God Bless!

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If you're taking out a loan - would the bank consider it a commerical property where you typically need 25% down and financing is usually an ARM loan. Or if it's financed as a renatl prop % are typically 2% higher APR.

 

Some places require a local inspection for rental properties to be sure they meet codes.

 

You can't scrape up a down payment on a rental. You have to HAVE cash avail for any issues that come up. What happens if the furnace breaks down the first week. Could you cover it?

 

Is gorgeous.

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If you're taking out a loan - would the bank consider it a commerical property where you typically need 25% down and financing is usually an ARM loan. Or if it's financed as a renatl prop % are typically 2% higher APR.

 

Some places require a local inspection for rental properties to be sure they meet codes.

 

You can't scrape up a down payment on a rental. You have to HAVE cash avail for any issues that come up. What happens if the furnace breaks down the first week. Could you cover it?

 

Is gorgeous.

 

Not sure about the bank/commercial property issue. The zoning is residential.

 

My mom would be the buyer, and then would sell it to me when I was ready, probably a year or so from now after some major life changes are settled. The scraping together of the down payment would be something I would want to do eventually, but not something which my mom would need me to do. That is the money I would have for the beginning to cover unexpected expenses/repairs. I would be adding roughly $500 to that pot of money each month to cover repairs and/or save up for more expensive things like exterior paint, etc.

 

I will check on all of those things though. Thanks for mentioning them!

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Pretty house! If it passes inspection, and you can make the numbers work, I say go for it.

 

I'm not sure I understood the part where you said "I'd need to ask many or all of the current tenants to leave, one by one, so that I could clean out & repaint, & fix up the apartments one at a time. I think it wouldn't be difficult to find better tenants once the units were finished." Ask them to leave temporarily, or leave for good? If they're paying their rent and they're good tenants, I'd wait to fix up the units until the tenants moved out on their own.

 

ETA: I just looked at the comps for the area (what other homes around this property sold for recently) and they're significantly lower. This property is basically the most expensive property in the area by quite a bit. So....on second glance, I think the price of this property would have to come down significantly in order to make it a good investment for you.

I tried to look for comparable properties, but there just really isn't anything similar anywhere in town. The fact that it's an income-producing property makes it entirely different than the much smaller homes in the area. I couldn't find much to compare it to.

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I tried to look for comparable properties, but there just really isn't anything similar anywhere in town. The fact that it's an income-producing property makes it entirely different than the much smaller homes in the area. I couldn't find much to compare it to.

 

 

True. The closest I could find were the handful of 3 bedroom homes that were nearby. Not true comps.

 

I thought it was still selling for $250K, but I see that you've since posted that it's come down to $175K. At that price, as an income-producing property, it seems to be priced appropriately.

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Same here! I showed Wolf, and he guessed 350k +.

 

Here in Aus it would go for way way more than that, well over a million

I mean, my house is 400 km away from Melbourne, 20 minute drive to the nearest small town, 100 km to the nearest shopping centers and would sell for $350k. My nan's super tiny pokey single story house in an outer suburb of Melbourne, built during WW2, super tiny bedrooms sold for $700k 3 years ago. Heck, My son is paying close to $200 rent a week just for a room at uni in Melbourne.

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I think you are adventureous, awesome and jaw droppingly brave. I would jump on that house in a hot minute if I had a handyperson in my life or was handy myself. That being said, get an inspection and be sure you are correct then move forward. Your girls are blessed to have a very good role model. Roll up the sleeves and on we go. I tip my hat to you Julie and say Godspeed and God Bless!

 

 

I don't know much about properties, but I just want to re-echo what Elizabeth said. It is heartening to see you think of the future and move forward. Good Luck to you!

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I think you are adventureous, awesome and jaw droppingly brave. I would jump on that house in a hot minute if I had a handyperson in my life or was handy myself. That being said, get an inspection and be sure you are correct then move forward. Your girls are blessed to have a very good role model. Roll up the sleeves and on we go. I tip my hat to you Julie and say Godspeed and God Bless!

 

 

:iagree:

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I know it's not probably practical. I know it's likely to be a money pit. I know I'm nuts to even be considering it.

 

STILL...

 

I want this house:

 

http://www.zillow.co...124153453_zpid/

 

The description isn't really accurate. I think the house is probably older than what the records show.

It's currently divided into 5 apartments. All of them have been continuously rented with no vacancies for as long as I can remember.

Two of the apartments rent for $450 per month, a third is $475 per month, and the other two are $350 per month. They each have metered electricity.

 

The owner inherited the house a couple of years ago, but lives out of state and hasn't been very realistic about the asking price (as listed). The real estate agent contacted me this week to let me know that the owner is looking for a sale now, and will take $175,000. According to my calculations, the monthly payment would be around $630 per month if I put down 20% (which I could probably scrape up from a variety of sources), with another appx. $250 that would need to be set aside to cover property taxes, etc., so...$900 out per month. I would need to probably pay for water & trash also.

 

I'm facing the fact that I will probably need a place to live, and even if I used one of the units myself, I would, in theory, still be bringing in appx. $1,250 monthly from the remaining four rental units, probably more once they were fixed up. I would take the amount I'd be paying in rent if I were living somewhere else, probably a minimum of $550 per month, and use it for maintenance/repair.

 

The house still has much of the original mahogany woodwork, has a cellar with usable storage space and access from outside and from inside one of the apartments. There's a lot of parking, and there is both the inside main staircase, and outside staircase access to all 3 of the upstairs units.

 

There's a LOT of cleaning, painting, and shoveling out of trash that would need to happen, and because of the state of the apartments, I'd need to ask many or all of the current tenants to leave, one by one, so that I could clean out & repaint, & fix up the apartments one at a time. I think it wouldn't be difficult to find better tenants once the units were finished. There is another apartment building in our town that is always full of young marrieds from local churches, and I think I could get tenants of that type, probably mostly people I already know personally.

 

The town is small, and though the house is much larger than others in the neighborhood, it's a nice neighborhood with smaller houses built in the same era. It's two blocks from the library, it's three blocks from the grocery store, and it's on a nice-sized corner lot.

 

The roof looks good. Some of the panes in the windows have been replaced, but the original leaded window panels appear to be intact. The plumbing was put in around 1960 when the apartments were put in, but appears to be functional. I'm not sure about the wiring. It might be a problem, and I know the siding is what was popular in our area during a particular era--asbestos. We've lived in a house with asbestos siding before, and it was just fine as long as it's in reasonably good shape and kept painted. This house would need painting sometime soon, but there doesn't appear to be flaking paint anywhere, just fading.

 

When I was walking through the house, I didn't see outward signs of structural problems. Floors were pretty much level and stable, I didn't see any cracking plaster that would indicate a settling/uneven foundation, and I didn't see much that would imply current water damage. Eaves are straight & level, porches are stable & level.

 

How would I go about getting someone to go through the house and tell me just how bad it is? An inspector? A structural engineer? It's a big house, with a lot of possible (probable!) huge problems.

 

If it's totally insane, tell me kindly, ok? I think it probably is insane, and I'm not sure if I'm thinking anything like clearly. {sigh}

 

Unless you are independently wealthy, I'd be wary. You are probably looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars to do everything you would needs with multiple baths, kitchens, appliances, etc. My last turnover was several years ago in a smallish single family home. Just repainting every surface, drywalling one room to cover paneling, reflooring, and having the hardwoods refinished in this one small home was $13,000 and that is just ONE living area that just needed moderate refurbishment. It also needs a new kitchen, but that will be on the next go-round, and will be tens of thousands.

 

What are the property taxes? You need to know that to be able to accurately figure out any payments. $250 a month is a STEAL. That sounds unbelievable for a property of that size.

 

Landlording is not for the faint of heart, and you couldn't pay me to live with the tenants. It's better if we just see each other at regular intervals. Otherwise, some types would call you daily about something. If you pay for water, you will be surprised how much tenants can use if they aren't paying for it themselves, say my landlord friends. I only have single family homes, so they all pay their own utilities.

 

It is a cool house.

 

You would need relationships with a good handyman and lots of tradespeople, unless you are handy and have skills yourself.

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Please always check this site first before moving: FamilyWatchdog.com

http://www.familywat...owMap.asp?frm=0

It's a sex offender site. Just type in the zip and address.

There appears to be a few "unknowns" very near your dream home. Of course, they are everywhere these days. But it's important to be aware wherever you move.

 

plus, just .49 miles from your home: this description of a "neighbor"

 

 

288(PRIOR CODE - LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE BY FORCE OR FEAR

 

PRIOR CODE - LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE BY FORCE OR FEAR

 

I would not like that myself.

 

I think everyone should check out this site, and check out your own neighborhood. You might be surprized.

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I'd be thinking about the resale value, and whether anyone would even want to buy it, if you need to get it off your hands. This is true for any house, but especially a large and old income-producing one in a neighborhood with iffy schools.

 

Also, you say it will be a money pit and your farm is in bankruptcy? I don't know the details of your situation, but I wouldn't do this unless I had stellar financial planning skills.

 

If you can handle the costs, the fixing up, and being a landlord, then go for it! That is a great price for a beautiful old house.

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Unless you are independently wealthy, I'd be wary. You are probably looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars to do everything you would needs with multiple baths, kitchens, appliances, etc. My last turnover was several years ago in a smallish single family home. Just repainting every surface, drywalling one room to cover paneling, reflooring, and having the hardwoods refinished in this one small home was $13,000 and that is just ONE living area that just needed moderate refurbishment. It also needs a new kitchen, but that will be on the next go-round, and will be tens of thousands.

 

What are the property taxes? You need to know that to be able to accurately figure out any payments. $250 a month is a STEAL. That sounds unbelievable for a property of that size.

 

Landlording is not for the faint of heart, and you couldn't pay me to live with the tenants. It's better if we just see each other at regular intervals. Otherwise, some types would call you daily about something. If you pay for water, you will be surprised how much tenants can use if they aren't paying for it themselves, say my landlord friends. I only have single family homes, so they all pay their own utilities.

 

It is a cool house.

 

You would need relationships with a good handyman and lots of tradespeople, unless you are handy and have skills yourself.

 

 

The house is gorgeous.

 

However, I lived for twelve years in a gorgeous old money-pit. Construction takes 2x-3x more time and money than planned, each and every time. I am not exaggerating. Also, I am a laid-back person and not fussy about my physical surroundings, and my husband even more so than me. Yet, we found it difficult and overwhelming to live in a construction zone.

 

I would be very, very concerned about tying up capital and resources into that building when you are also considering opening a business. Frankly, I think your bakery idea is fabulous, and in your shoes would not allow any distractions from that goal. It would be very difficult financially to do both, and as a human being, it would be unbelievably overwhelming to do both. If I were to choose between the two possible huge projects, from the little I know of you here, I would say the bakery is the stronger option.

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Julie I love the idea in the abstract. But I am smack dab in the middle of a renovation and it is true everything takes 2 or 3 times the money and time expected. We paid very little for our property so I wouldn't say it was a mistake but it is hard and I have the most skilled husband ever. And ours is just a single family home.

 

If you are trying to work out living arrangements for yourself and your 2 girls maybe you could go for something like a duplex that is closer to move in ready. Then you could have the income with far fewer headaches so that you could focus on your fabulous cooking skills.

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I would take the 2 bedroom apartment that also has a really large living room and interior access to the cellar storage area. The apartment itself is roughly 900 square feet, I think. <snip>.

 

How much space are you used to now? That seems pretty small to me - yes, I know plenty of families live in small homes, but it's one more adjustment at a time of change.

 

My biggest concern is that this would be a huge, expensive, time-consuming endeavor, and chances are you won't be able to easily back away from it. It's just not a decision I would make when my whole life was in chaos.

 

I wouldn't do it. I would find a place to live that had nothing to do with my livelihood, and move on from there.

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There's probably a reason why the house has been on the market for 400+ days. We live in an old house that we renovated- older than the one you're looking at, but renovation can be a bear no matter the age.

But what would really hold me back is living with my tenants. We've been landlords and I would NOT want to live in the same building. You can't get away from them- and every tiny complaint someone has will get back to you- noise, parking, trash, pets, etc. When you live off site, many of those complaints aren't voiced because people aren't going to call you over every little thing. But if you're in the building...

 

Having said that, the house is BEAUTIFUL.

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I would be very, very concerned about tying up capital and resources into that building when you are also considering opening a business. Frankly, I think your bakery idea is fabulous, and in your shoes would not allow any distractions from that goal. It would be very difficult financially to do both, and as a human being, it would be unbelievably overwhelming to do both. If I were to choose between the two possible huge projects, from the little I know of you here, I would say the bakery is the stronger option.

Yes, I've been thinking about that. I know that I can't do both. I will be very, very blessed if I can carry off even one of these two huge ideas. I've been trying to weight the pros & cons of each, but honestly, I've never ever had to make a big decision on my own, and I'm finding that my thoughts lack the clarity that I've been accustomed to via my husband for the past 25 years. We always bounced ideas off of each other, kwim?

 

Anyway, here's what I've been thinking.

 

House/rental property:

 

Pros:

It's beautiful, and the kind of home (vintage) that I've always dreamed of owning

If I have to rent a place to live it will cost me at least $550 per month, and would be very hard to find. If I put that money into the pot with what the rentals bring in, it will more than cover the mortgage, property taxes, and would leave me with a little extra to save up for repairs/maintenance.

If I can get the current tenants out, I'm pretty confident that I will be able to find some really good tenants. Apartments here are scarce, and because it's a small town, I will almost certainly know prospective renters (or at least their reputation).

I will need to clean like crazy, and will need to paint interior rooms, but the apartments are amazingly functional as they are.

It's a nice neighborhood, close to my current job and a prospective new job I've been offered.

It's a place where I could see my dds living fairly happily; close to the library, close to dds work, etc.

It's unlikely to an extreme degree, but might miraculously be possible to obtain a zoning variance, and use the first floor for my bakery/cafe, use one of the upstairs units to live in, and keep good tenants in the other two units. That would provide $850 towards the mortgage every month, and would help cover the location of the business until it was profitable.

 

Cons:

I will need to paint the exterior soon-ish.

There's five thousand things that could be wrong with the house.

It would change & complicate the idea of a bakery/cafe, but then again, I have been offered a full time job organizing & running a thriving catering business, and that wouldn't be a bad job.

It will be both more expensive and more time-consuming than I'm expecting. I know this as certainly as I live and breathe.

I would need to try and get the existing tenants out, and that could be a big problem.

Even great tenants will need to be dealt with, and do I really want to be a landlord?

It's a huge financial risk in terms of unexpected expenses.

 

{sigh}

 

Can I just give up on thinking big thoughts now? I'm trying to plan for eventualities, but honestly, I don't *know* what's going to happen in the next few months with regard to the business and my marriage/separation. I find myself trying to plan for a very different life, but the current life hasn't reached it's conclusion yet.

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